Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta. Not sure it would be the wrong move either. Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter. He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas. He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas. Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10. About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right. I said it around the time of his no-hitter. That took some pants grapes. What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut. On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta). Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up. It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine. It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.” And that’s me quoting me! On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.” And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record! I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it. For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year. People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall. Yeah, and it won’t work out either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
With the season winding down and most H2H leagues in full-on go mode, this week’s holds post will be the last one of the year. I know, so sad, right? It has been a 25-week journey into the pits and pendulums that are fantasy bullpens. But with the conclusion, it is always good to look ahead to next year for everyone in keeper, dynasty or just anyone looking to get a jump on next year now. I mean, I never stop really doing bullpen research all year, I drink one can of beer at a time and then look to the bottom of the can to see if the answer or answers are printed on the bottom. Alas, I haven’t found one yet, but that won’t stop me from trying again and again in my ever search for bullpen enlightenment. Things to look for late in the year for future bullpen potential; high leverage usage, a great success with stranded runners and a great situational involvement in that teams bullpen moving forward. Just a P.S., those are the things I give you with every bullpen piece in my helpful chart. Yes that last one is tough because we never know who will be traded and add or subtract value from another, but great bullpen arms on one team with potential for holds, saves and just overall decent fantasy return are very rarely ever traded and don’t return to same spot with new team. So put your feet up, I have 10 more beers left before this post is done…Please, blog, may I have some more?
As the season draws nigh, and it comes to the point in the season when we here at Razzball use words like nigh, verisimilitude, or even rancorous. Don’t ask me what the meaning is, because I could barely spell them without my handy speak and spell. The whole gist of this discussion is to basically look at our roster and think diversification. Look at the bullpen pieces that currently occupy one or several of your pitcher spots. I say this because we all want counting stats at all times, and in a manner… this is why come the end of the year, it is very sexy to have guys who have multiple pitching eligibility for the off chance your don’t have a starter going in a spot or on an innings limit. These fellas help out in K’s, rates, vulture wins, and since we are here for the holds, they do them too. Listen, this isn’t a new thing or a crazy theory that I concocted in my basement after painting too man model airplanes. Though, the thought process after that is kinda cloudy and sorta fun? So here is a rundown of the guys with some dual eligibility late in the fame to aide in your fantasy quest. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
The holds leaderboard has been basically demolished as guys have switched roles. Three out of the top-10 holds guys (Bettances, Herrera, and Watson) currently are holding down the closer roles for their respective teams. Add in two more from the top-20 (Andrew Miller and Ken Giles) and you can see that 20% of the entire holds leaders are double dipping in stats. Not always a bad thing, but when you are counting on one stat from a guy and then it switches to another, it detracts from the previous. Have no fear, because the bullpen aficionado is here to steer you through the muck and mire that is the bullpen shuffle. So for this week, we are going to look at guys who aren’t in a closing role. I have taken current closers out of the equation for the chart, because this is a holds piece and we don’t want “their kind” infiltrating the holds stuff. So be active on the waiver wire as we come down to the end of the season, there should be no commitment in the relief game.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was going to just delay this post due to inclement weather, but Grey’s super Doppler 5001, which is also a giant B.S. detector, wouldn’t let me. So here we sit, some 48 hours before the list that you are about to see means about as much as single-ply toilet paper… Really, what cheap s.o.b. concocted this idea of pinching pennies? I mean everyone has had a run-in with it at some point. Awful. It’s part of the reason I have a salt-water bidet in all three outhouses at the Smokey compound. So back to the deadline… closer gossip teams are lining up other contenders closers in such a bullish market, namely the rumors surrounding Mark Melancon. The market and teams that need reliable relievers, let alone closers, is the Nationals, Indians, Rangers and Giants. It is just the land of confusion and there is not enough LOOGY’S to go around. I will touch on who I can see where after the bump to prolong the suspense, but the teams I just mentioned are teams to monitor on the opposite end of closers, because if the big names start rolling, all but Cody Allen looks to be out of a job. Here’s what I can see going down by the deadline in the bullpen game, plus some rankings and next in line stuff. Plus, Razzball Soccer has started pumping out quality, so go over and check it and join the official game…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Shaba Antone in the know knows that I am all about Jamaica. Love to visit the place. I also have several friends that reside on the isle and like to partake in the national festivity of… well, you know, don’t make me say. The Dodger pen has been a flux of capacitors all year, and I think at some point I’ll bet a sixer on the leading hold leader from them being someone who may have contracted a melanoma. Enter Joe Blanton. The resurrection project of all resurrection projects. Not only has he flourished in the role of set-up to the stars, but he doesn’t seem to have any competition to say the opposite. In his last 30 days, minus a week off for the All-Star break, he has a one-off the pace total of 7 holds, a K/9 rate of above average, and an ERA of two bills. All this for a team that has lacked stability setting up the dude who sounds like someone you would rent a kickboard from in Jamaica. Now, he isn’t the only reason for the Dodgers having a top-5 bullpen ERA in the last 30 days, but he isn’t not-not the problem. He is someone you may need to own though, add in the fact that in some leagues, I have SP eligibility, and he looks even sexier. So now that we have got the lede out the way, let’s get to the milk and cookies of the bullpen report.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I figured out the best concoction for delivering fantasy baseball… First, go to liquor store and grab your consumption of choice. Next, convey your thoughts about fantasy bullpens to the masses in a cognitive and fluid way that makes sense to… the masses. Mission One: check, Mission Two: to be determined. This week, I wanna touch base on the neophyte in Seattle’s Edwin Diaz, the once highly-touted starting pitcher prospect that is now occupying the first chair in Seattle. He is sorta the new kid in class, and the trust level to let him borrow a Nintendo game just isn’t there yet. The stats will speak differently though. Check the rhythm of the rhyme I wrote and while I got a chance here, let me clear my throat. For the last month, he has been chipping away at the Benoit salad in Seattle’s pecking order. Well, now he is the goods by setting up a Cishek. Cishek in this case is Swahili for “not for long”. Over the last fortnight, he leads all of baseball in holds with 5, and his 20.57 K/9, which is basically unparalleled by anyone. Listen, Cishek has the job and he isn’t getting shipped anywhere while the Mariners are in a wildcard hunt. But isn’t it fun to own the guy who is sexy now before you start seeing kids in the mall all wearing him like he is the new Cavaricci? Diaz is his name and RP satisfaction is his game, green is his color… blue is the other. So hop on the good foot and add the sure thing. While you’re at it, check some other delectable sundries that I have in the shape of bullpens and their place in society…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Whatever your cultivation of choice may be, go with it. Oscar Gamble was, and is still a pimp in social culture, as is California sensemilia. So whatever your subset of life is, that’s cool with me. My obsession is a little of column A, a lot of column B, and I incorporate column C. Column C being my love and passion for the deliverance of the most finite bullpen jargon on the web. Go look, there isn’t anything better than me. I checked, if I added a pretty colorful chart with catchy funny names, then I would literally have to kick my own ass. So here we sit, and look at what the Rangers are doing. They have been doing, in the last 30 days what the Cubs did over the first 30. They are, in no large part, being buoyed by a stout bullpen. Their starters are all hitting the DL and fast. The trio of Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, and Sam Dyson are about as tight as a bullpen can get, and the best group I have seen since the Isley Brothers concert Prospector Ralph and I went to see. I have talked about Dyson and Diekman on separate occasions this year. So no, it’s the one without voting privileges turn. Bush has basically been a la machina since promotion on May 12th. He has appeared in 13 games for the Rangers to date, and his usage has only recently spiked having pitched in 13 of the last 22 overall for the Rangers. His 10-plus K-rate over that time is coupled with an ERA under a buck and his xFIP is basically what David Phelps is giving you. Who, in most hold leagues right now, is pretty much a must own and isn’t a guy you yawn at in mixed company leagues either. Bush is a feel good story that I think can continue as long as the Rangers can duct tape their starting rotation together long enough to maintain their AL West dominance. He should be rostered in most leagues going forward for his usage potential as the remaining Rangers starters, minus Cole Hamels, average less than 6 innings per start. So head for the mountains and roster some Bush. Stick with me for some other diatribes of greatness…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dellin Betances is basically the fat of the fantasy set-up world. The goods are there, it just takes time and some settling before we all realize it is, what was and what always shall be… I think I just laced this post with some subtle Led Zeppelin reference, but I may be crooked to walk on one leg to let myself know that I did, let alone let you subtly know. So I will just go ahead and say there was a Zep reference-reference. Good, moving on. Success of a bullpen, let alone someone you should be relying on, is correlative of how well the team is performing. It’s science, if you score more you put yourself in a better position to win more, regardless of who is on the bump. Dellin was and is the goods, currently and in post-script. He came into the year as the man to target in any format that coveted fantasy goodness, condensed into a smaller innings unit of measure than that of a starter. Now add in the dash of Holds sassiness, and he is a bullpen god. He is now the king of the Hold in all leagues by quantity and not by just scripture. His 16 holds on the year are tops on the this year’s gig and given the Yankees propensity to not score over 4 runs in a game, his reign may be a run away. He has the good everywhere else; K/9, swagger, ability to tie multiple knots while buoyant at sea. There are no bullpen stats that he isn’t the man at. He basically walks into a bar/club and automatically has the best synchronized music to his step….think Matthew McConaughey in Dazed in Confused…and let here comes the story of the Hurricane ramble through your third eye for a bit. So let’s jump into this fortnights dealing in the bullpen game… alright, alright, alright.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The change in Texas has reverbed into the Holds ranks as well. Tolley was the guy, now Frank Perdue’s arch-nemesis Sam Dyson is all comfy in the save bird seat. The best part of this whole deal is that Jake Diekman is reaping all the benefits from a fantasy hold perspective. This is a coup for the people who listened to me early and figured him to be the lefty-version of the lock-down pen arm in Arlington. All Jake has done on the year is garner 13 holds with 11 plus K/9 and a HR/9 just a smidge over one. We in the fantasy community rely on such precise words as smidge, scoonch, pinch… and I’m throwing prolly in there because some people like it and it doesn’t get more accurate than that. So the main question is, can Diekman be the man and continue to be the man? Absolutely. He is thriving in a role that he started when he was with Philly. The Rangers, also if anyone is paying attention, aren’t a half bad team and are fairly solid with or without Tolleson closing at the end. So let’s take a look at what else has happened in the fortnight of games since the last bullpen lowdown, or ho-down. Depending on how strong your hold pimp hand is.Please, blog, may I have some more?